County fair to pick Miss Gwinnett today

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Gwinnett County Fair's soggy start will likely continue through the weekend, but fair goers can still enjoy events indoors.

The exhibit hall, where youth and adult exhibits and crops are displayed, was set to open at 11 a.m. today, followed at 11:30 by the Southeast Empire lamb show.

More than 200 lambs are set to take to the show ring with their youth handlers in the fairgrounds' barn.

Bill Atkinson, a member of the fair board and livestock committee, said the lamb show should last until about 5 p.m.

Tonight, nine young women will compete for the title of Miss Gwinnett County and the chance to move on to the Miss Georgia pageant in June.

The annual Miss Gwinnett County Scholarship Pageant, a preliminary for the Miss Georgia competition, is held the first Saturday of the Gwinnett County Fair.

"Miss Gwinnett is always a highlight of the fair," said pageant director Becky Roberts. "We have an excellent array of talent this year."

Tonight, young women drawn from across a 12-county region will compete in the categories of swimsuit, talent and evening wear. Interviews will be conducted prior to tonight's event.

The winner will bear the title of Miss Gwinnett and compete in the Miss Georgia 2010 pageant in June in Columbus. She will also receive a $1,500 scholarship along with other gifts and prizes.

While the fairgrounds were soggy after rain Friday and forecasts called for more rain today, the Miss Gwinnett pageant will still go on.

"Rain or shine, we're fine," Roberts said. "The building will hold a lot of people, it's air-conditioned, we're fine."

SideBar: If You Go

· What: Gwinnett County Fair

· When: Exhibit hall will be open today from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with the carnival open until midnight

· Where: Gwinnett County Fairgrounds' entertainment building, 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville

· Cost: $5 for adults, $2 for seniors and children ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and younger

· For more information: Visit www.gwinnettcountyfair.com